March 2, 2017, Tsakopoulos Library Gallery, Sacramento, California, the Business Network for Offshore Wind, in conjunction with Pacific Offshore Energies Trust (POET) hosted a full-day symposium with offshore wind developers, businesses, and Federal and State regulators to ensure offshore wind becomes part of California’s future clean energy mix.
The formal panels throughout the day provided insights into capturing the European downward trends in offshore wind electricity prices; the importance of the port infrastructure, availability of logistics for a planned supply-chain roll-out; and examples of the training required for skills to match the demands of building offshore wind facilities. World class offshore wind developers including Principle Power, Dong Energy, Statoil, Magellan Wind and Trident Wind all defined their views and interest in advancing floating offshore wind along California’s coast.
UK’s Catapult described the shifting trends in Europe and the work presently underway to optimize efficiency while the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrated its approach for quantifying the potential energy, which would commercially be connected to California’s grid. All participants remained mindful of the respect needed to work with multiple present users of California’s existing coastal waters including fisheries. A range of environmental specialists shared details that contrasted differences of west coast and east coast bird types as well as advanced technologies and monitoring practices that could be used to support utility scale projects through California’s multiple environmental permitting process.
This Symposium provided a platform for the California Energy Commission along with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to repeat some of the points underscored in a follow up meeting as the two organizations prepare for the July 13th Task Force meeting.
This summer there is a potential for up to 6 offshore wind energy sites to be selected by BOEM off the coast of California. As many expect the U.S. east coast to have 10 GW of fixed bottom offshore wind deployed by 2030, there is little to doubt about the strong interest to have 50 GW of offshore wind connected to California’s grid by the same date. There is no looking back: we are beyond floating the idea of developing offshore wind along the west coast.